April 25, 2016
ICU Day 8
Den had a chest x-ray and breathing treatment at 2AM. He slept on and off during the night and says he feels pretty good this morning. By 6 AM he was up and in his chair. The staff wanted him out of bed for longer periods of time every day.
At 7AM, Dr. Hart came in to give us the plan for the day. The Foley catheter would be removed today. This meant that Den would have to use the urinal bottles again. The Dr. would also talk to the surgeon about taking out the chest tubes today. And finally he wanted to replace the Triple Lumen with a PICC line today in preparation for Den to be moved out of ICU. This was all great news! It meant that Den was progressing well and finally on a good path.
Respiratory came in for another treatment. They gave Den another device to help break up the congestion that remained from the pneumonia. They showed him how to use it and told him to alternate the 2 breathing devices during the day.
Den got all oral meds except Magnesium and Potassium today…more progress! They removed the Foley around 8:30AM and brought Den three urinal bottles since he was still getting diuretics thru his IV line. Right after that Physical Therapy came in. Today was a little more intense that it had been. They went thru some upper body stretches and had Den stand and sit several times. They all commented on the marked improvement since Friday. Tomorrow’s goal would be to walk to the door and back…..to Den this seemed like climbing a mountain! He was very tired after this session so he decided to nap in his chair for a while.
Dr. Cosad came by a little while later. He told us that the chest tubes would be coming out today! Yeah! He also ordered an IV site be put in Den’s hand so they could be sure of access when he got to the Step Down Unit.
At 10AM, Den decided to go back to bed….and it was a good thing he did. About 15 minutes later, the surgical staff was in to pull out the chest tubes. I was amazed that there was 18″ of tubing inside of my man! Dr. J had ordered an ultrasound of Den’s heart to make sure everything was good before he could go to the Step Down Unit. And the nurse did a check on his blood sugar….it was over 200. Before he could get his insulin they came to move him to his new room! The only snag was when they tried to change him over to the batteries for the move the alarms on his LVAD would go off. Finally one of the LVAD team came in (by this time Den was starting to panic!) and found out that 2 of the 4 batteries were bad. She got it all straightened out and off Den went to a new room!
Den got 3 units of insulin when he was settled in his new room. Speech was there right after he was settled. Dr. Bloom released Den to a soft solid diet. This meant that he could have some more options with his meals.
Just after Dr. Bloom left, I raced to pick up Em at school. I had promised her that when her dad got out of ICU I would come and get her. She really needed to see her dad and I knew that she was missing me too (even though I talked to her in the morning and evening every day). I called her school on the way down. Her principal knew what was happening and the whole school had been praying for Den throughout this ordeal. He said that he would pass on the good news to the teachers, who would pass it along to the students and parents who had been praying. When I picked Em up, she was giddy with excitement. She had not seen or spoken with Den in a week. When we finally got to his room, she cried while she hugged him. It was so touching to see them together again. Em stayed with us for dinner and then I took her home on the train…I didn’t want to pay three times in one day for parking. Marg was still on her way back from a doctors appointmentwhen we got off the train, so her Brother-In-Law picked her up and took her to their house. Marg would get her from there. I told her I would be home soon and I would talk to her later tonight. I got back on the train and called Den to let him know I was on my way. He told me that they had changed his room. They had moved him to a room right next to the nurse station…at least it was closer to the elevators, too! We settled in for the night and prepared for a new routine…one a little less stressful, we hoped.